Blog Words : Weird@Wanderlust | 01 January

5 weird travel experiences to have in 2016

From staying in a hotel run by robots to surfing the internet in a historic Moscow cemetery, these are the travel experiences you'll be able to dine out on all year

1. Check into a robot hotel

Robots are a part of everyday life in Japan. You’ll find them in stores and restaurants, and now behind the reception desk in the world’s first hotel run by robots in Nagasaki.

Called the Henn-na Hotel, (which means 'Strange Hotel' in Japanese), you’ll be greeted by English-speaking dinosaur robots and have your bag taken to your room by a robotic bag-check and concierge service. 

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2. Petrify your own souvenir

Looking for a travel souvenir that is both unique and hard-wearing? Then you need to get yourself to Mother Shipton’s cave in Yorkshire.

Set in unspoilt corner of the Royal Forest of Knaresborough, the cave is home to a well that ‘petrifies’ objects placed in it. Initially thought to be caused by witchcraft, it is actually an entirely natural phenomenon caused by evaporation and water with an unusually high mineral content.

Visitors are encouraged to leave objects to be turned into stone. But be warned. It takes three to five months.

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Grave of heroes of the Soviet Union, Novodevichy cemetery (Shutterstock.com)

3. Hook up to free wifi in a Moscow cemetery

Forget cafes and bars – in 2016 the coolest place to update your Facebook profile in Moscow will be the local cemetery.

The city's local government has announced plans to offer free Wi-Fi in three of the city's best-known cemeteries.

Authorities are hoping it will encourage visitors to research the famous Russians buried in Novodevichy, Troyekurovskoye, and Vagankovo cemeteries.

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Dog in a suitcase (Shutterstock.com)

4. Take your pet to New York

With New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport announcing it will open a $48 million terminal specifically for pets in 2016, there has never been a better time to take your furry companion to the Big Apple.

Called The Ark, the178,000-square-foot terminal will boast flat-screen TVs, a full-service salon, a doggy swimming pool, and a 20,000-square-foot ultra-luxurious resort and lounge.

Fido will never want to leave.

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5. Visit a city of live mermaids

Located about an hour north of Tampa, Weeki Wachee is an enchanted spring where visitors can watch underwater performances by mermaids in a mysterious blue underwater world of manatees, turtles and bubbles beside the Weeki Wachee River.  

One of Florida’s oldest roadside attractions, the show has been entertaining visitors for almost 60 years, including a young Elvis Presley who dropped by during the filming of Follow That Dream. It’s the perfect antidote to the more modern theme parks only a few miles away.

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Main image: Robotic maid (Shutterstock.com)